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Rice University 


Rice University 


Rice University Press 
Houston, Texas 

Copyright t?198 j by Rice I'nivtrsity 
Second edition, 19')(), rc\ i^cd and 

All rights reserved 

Printed in the U.S.A. by Wetmore 
Typesetting by Wordseller 

Library of Congress (Cataloging in 
Publication Data 

Morehead, James C, 1913 — 

A walking tour of Rice Liniversity 
1. Rice University — Description — 
Views. 2. Rice University — 
Buildings — Pictorial works. 3. Rice 
University — Guide-books. 1. Title. 
II. Series. LD60S3.M66 1984 1990 
378.764 'l4ll 90-52984 

ISBN 0-89263-300-X clothbound 
ISBN 0-89263-301-8 paperbound 





Space Science and 
Technology Building 


The Tour 


Keith -Wiess (ieological 


Lovett Hall 


Anderson Biological 


Founders' Room 
Physics Building 
Sewall Hall 


Cieorge R. Brown 
Biosciences Building 

Rice Memorial Student (Center 
and Chapel 



Academic Court 


Alice Pratt Brown Hall 


Anderson Hall 


Herring Hall 


Dell Butcher Hall 


Fondren Library 


■45° 90° 180° 

Abercrombie Engineering 



Rayzor Hall 
(;ohen House 
Allen Center 



Mechanical Laboratory 


Residential Colleges 


Mechanical Engineering 


Rice Stadium 


Ryon Engineering Laboratory 


Mudd Building 


Herman Brown Building 


Hamman Hall 



William Ward Watkin 

who invited the author 

to Join the Rice faculty 

fifty years ago 


I happened upon the Rice scene at just the right time, and so did William 
Ward Watkin. He was the architects' representative on the original work, 
was Chairman of the Department of Architecture from the opening of the 
Institute until his death in 1952, and later designed several other campus 
buildings himself. It is in his memory that the color photographs in this 
revised edition of ^ Walking Tour were funded through the generosity of 
his daughter, Mrs. Ray Watkin Hoagland. In 1940, when 1 came to Rice, Mr. 
Watkin was giving slide talks about Rice, its history, and its architecture. I 
was "invited" to run the projector (an elderly 3V4" x -4" manual one), chang- 
ing slides to follow Mr. Watkin's prepared text. How could I possibly fail to 
become interested? Like all visitors to the Rice campus, I had asked of the 
various faces and symbols cut in stone, cast in bronze, or molded in clay, 
"Who are you? What do you represent? " Fortunately I was able, through 
Mr. Watkin and Jimmy Chillman, Jr., to discover many of the answers. 

I began photographing the campus myself in the late 1940s, but it was not 
until after Mr. Watkin's death that I began conducting campus tours. They 
were initiated as part of the Faculty Women's Club program for wives of new- 
comers to the faculty, but I felt especially honored and encouraged by the 
repeated attendance of Mrs. Dorothy Richter and of Miss Pender Turnbull. 1 
secretly suspect that they both knew as much about the tour as 1 did but were 
kind enough not to betray me. 

Two problems developed with respect to the guided tours. First, they 
became so popular that it was impossible for those attending to hear even my 
basso profundo. Second, they were rather tiring for many people as the walks 
grew longer and longer. Hence a series of slide talks evolved. These had the 
obvious advantage of making the "tours" available to large numbers with less 
wear and tear on the audiences and of being independent of the weather or 
the time of day. I would not attempt to guess the number of tours or slide 
presentations that I have made over the years. 

Later, at the urging of the Development Office of the university, Douglas 
Killgore produced a I6mm sound film called Rice Today, but because of its 
limited coverage, the film simply whets the appetite. In 1981 the Office of 

Information Services produced the Rice University Calendar, but this also 
only scratched the surface. After each tour or slide show or presentation of 
Rice Today, members of the audience persistently asked when 1 would write 
a book documenting the architecture and sculpture of Rice. In response to 
those many requests, interpreted as popular demand, I have enlarged the 
scope of the other presentations through A Walking Tour. 

My primar> purpose in developing this walking-tour guide is to make the 
readers who have visited the Rice campus, or who may even have lived on it 
for four or more years, aware of the fascinating details in stone, metal, brick, 
or clay that they failed to notice during their stay. Publication costs do not 
permit me to make your tour a photographic documentary of the campus, 
but the written text will approach a documentary description of most of the 
buildings and items of interest. 

Over the years I have also stumbled upon some intriguing anecdotes, a few 
of which I will share with you. Linfortunately, I cannot include many of the 
interesting stories about the university in this brief guide, but some of them 
are told in .4 History of Rice University: The Institute Years. 190^-1963, by 
Fredericka Meiners (Rice University Press, 1982). I highly recommend that 
book to every former Rice student as fascinating reading. Another publication 
of must-read status is Architecture at Rice. The General Plan of the William 
AI. Rice Institute and Its Architectural Development, by Stephen Fox, Mono- 
graph 29 of the Department of Architecture. One entire satellite saga that 
should some day be recorded is the story of Oswald J. Lassig, the sculptor 
who did virtually all the carving on campus through the time when Cohen 
House was built. The reader wishing to see other fine examples of his work 
should visit the Holy Rosary Catholic Church at ,^6()() Travis Street in Hous- 
ton. The architectural detail from which the beauty of Rice derived could also 
in itself be the subject of a paper. Such Italian predecessors as the Doge's 
Palace in Venice, Giotto's campanile at the cathedral in Florence, and the 
other lovely campaniles throughout Italy were equaled in many ways by the 
work of the architects who created the Rice buildings. Until we can actuailly 
visit these wonderful cities, we can continue to enjoy the work of Oswald 

Lassig, James Chillman, David Parsons, William McVey, and others through 
this book, but more by repeated visits to the campus. Photography is a won- 
derful medium, but there is absolutely no substitute for experiencing in 
person the actual buildings, spaces, and delightful details of the Rice 
University campus. 

Many present and former faculty members and students have contributed 
to this publication. Where space has permitted, 1 have included the construc- 
tion slides that Mr Watkin gave me for use in my structures course in archi- 
tecture. Through his talks before such groups as the Houston Philosophical 
Society, he also contributed valuable information about the development of 
the plan and design of the campus. Nolan E. Barrick, who received his B. A. 
degree in architecture in 19.-^S and is Professor Emeritus of Architecture at 
Texas Tech University, provided me with a copy of a letter from Dr. William 
N. Craig, formerly of the chemistry faculty at Rice. It was addressed to Mr. 
Watkin and explained many of the alchemical and chemical symbols that 
appear on the Chemistry Building. The late G. Holmes Richter, Professor 
Emeritus of Chemistry, pointed me in the direction of books on the history of 
chemistry located in Fondren Library. David G. Parsons, Professor Emeritus of 
Eine Arts, has been more than helpful in identifying his "bricks" on the Biol- 
ogy, Geology, and Space Science and Technology buildings. On a number of 
occasions I used Mr. J. T McCants' paper about the early days of Rice for 
verification of information. And the photographs of the models of the build- 
ings under construction, the Founders' Room, and the Herring Hall Library 
are included thanks to Thomas Lavergne of University Relations. Others 
whom 1 consulted were Dr Charles W. Philpott of Biology, Dr Kristine 
Wallace of Classics, and others I'm sure I have forgotten. 

It is my hope that I can make the reader experience the beauty, delight, 
and even the humor of the Rice campus, and that he or she will be irresistibly 
stimulated to return and search for items that even I have failed to see. 


The architectural history of what we now call Rice University began in 
1909 when Dr. Edgar Odell Lovett met with the firm of Cram, Goodhue and 
Ferguson of New York and Boston. From their meetings a general plan for the 
Rice Institute was developed. They considered and discarded a number of 
styles. The "collegiate Gothic" of West Point Military Academy and Princeton 
University, with its small windows and steep roofs, was quite inappropriate. 
At the time, relations with Mexico were hardly ideal, so a style similar to the 
Spanish Romanesque or the Mission style of Mexico was eliminated. At one 
point Mr. Cram prepared a sketch for Lovett Hall that, with round arched 
cloisters, twelve columns rising from twelve piers, open loggias, and Gothic 
niches, resembled St. Mark's in Venice. This design, however, did not even 
reach the discussion stage, as it was characterized by one observer as "wed- 
ding cake" architecture. The discussants ultimately agreed that the style of 
the Institute should be appropriate to the climate of the region and should 
strive to represent the development of the Romanesque in Italy, had the 
beginning of Gothic not terminated the development of Romanesque. 

The Boston and New York offices of the firm held an inhouse competition 
for the master plan. The Boston office under Cram developed a grand plan in 
which the academic court was almost a mile long; in the Goodhue plan of the 
New York office, the academic court was about one-half mile in length. In 
both cases, access to the buildings was from a point on Old Main Street Road 
farther from the city of Houston than the present location of Gate Number 1 
at Main Street and Sunset Boulevard — a rather serious mistake considering 
the condition of Old Main Street Road at the time. William Ward Watkin 
was assigned the task of combining the two plans and of including some 
of the recommendations of the trustees. The result was a plan in which the 
academic court was only a quarter mile in length (1,300 feet), and access 
was provided at the point on the 290 acres nearest to the city of Houston. 
(See black-and-white photograph 2.) 

The design of the new university, which had neither faculty nor students 
and which was located almost two miles from the city limits, presented unusual 
problems in that none of the usual city services were available. Power and 

water were immediate needs, and some provision for sewage disposal was 
obviously a must. Drainage of the site had to be provided as well, since no 
assistance could be anticipated from Harris County toward that end. The 
western one-third of the site was subject to regular overflowing of Harris 
Gully, although the balance of the site could hardly be characterized as arid 
at any time. The immediate needs of the new university were to be served 
by the construction of an Administration Building (renamed Lovett Hall in 
December 194"'); the Mechanical Laboratory; the power plant with its stately 
smokestack; the campanile; a dining hall; and a dormitory (South Hall, now 
part of Will Rice College). The Administration Building housed the library, 
the faculty chamber, a number of classrooms, and faculty and administrative 
offices. The Mechanical Laboratory housed Engineering, Architecture, and 
several other departments, with classrooms and laboratory facilities. 

The adoption of Italian Romanesque as a style dictated a philosophy in 
the use of materials; those buildings located on the academic court were to 
be rich in marble and stone with small areas of brick. Academic buildings 
not on the academic court were to have less marble but considerably more 
stone and brick, whereas the residential buildings were to be predominantly 
stucco with a limited use of stone and brick. This distribution of materials is 
still evident in Venice and elsewhere in Italy today. 

Originally the Rice Institute was scheduled to open in 1911, but in keeping 
with the good intentions of the construction industry and the optimism of 
architects, the new university opened its doors in September 1912. Dr. Lovett s 
dream, as well as the dreams of the board of trustees, had been realized. And 
so Dr Lovett occupied his new office, which was located on the fourth floor 
of the Administration Building directly over the Sallyport. Some years later, 
Dr Hubert Bray of the Department of Mathematics represented Dr Lovett at 
the inauguration of the president of Texas A&M University. On that occasion 
he carried the greetings of the Rice Institute to the sister institution and wrote: 

A great man is Edgar O. Lovett. 

His office has nothing above it. 

It is four stories high. 

As high in the sky 

As William Ward Watkin could shore it. 

More recent buildings have been unable to continue the use of marbles in 
many colors or the profusion of sculptured stone ornament seen earlier. 
This is because of the high cost of those materials as well as the scarcity of 
artisans needed to work and carve them. Glazed ceramics have been used 
frequently to provide some color and variety, although recently the most 
interesting variety has been provided by the sculptured bricks in the Biology, 
Geology, and Space Science and Technology buildings. The almost complete 
absence of owls as a decorative form is unfortunate. 

We will look at many of the wonderful features of Lovett Hall and the other 
campus buildings during our tour of the Rice University grounds. So put on 
your walking shoes, or relax in a comfortable chair, and join me at Gate 
Number 1. 


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^ 6 

Figure 1. Lovett Hall Capitals 


4^ w n^^ 

M m m m m il 


12 11 10 


8S Sophus Lie — Mathematics 

8W William Kelvin— Physics 

8N Dmitri Mendeleeff — Chemistry 

8E Charles Darwin — Biology 

lis Francis Gallon — Eugenics 
IIW Heinrich Hertz— Electricity 
UN Pierre Curie — Radioactivity 
HE Samuel Langley — Aerodynamics 


M m m H m a. 

6 5 4 3 2 

I I 

2S Thucydides — History 

2W Michelangelo— Art 

2N Immanuel Kant — Philosophy 

2E St. Paul— Religion 

5S Ferdinand de Lesseps— Engineering 

5W Louis Pasteur — Medicine 

5N Christopher Columbus — Commerce 

5E Thomas Jefferson —Jurisprudence 

1 (iutf Number 1 

2 Lovett Hall 
5 Physics Building 

4 Sewall Hall 

5 Statue of William Marsh Rice 

6 Anderson Hall 

7 Dell Butcher Hall 

8 ~i5°. 90°. 180° 

9 Abercrombie Laboratory 

10 Old Mechanical Laboratory 
and Campanile 

11 New Mechanical 

12 Ryon Laboratory 

13 Mudd Building 

14 Herman Brown 

15 Hamman Hall 

16 Space Science 
and Technology 

17 Keith -Wiess 

18 Anderson Biological 

19 George R. Brown 
Biosciences Building 

20 Rice Memorial and 
Lev Student Centers 

21 Rice Chapel 

22 Alice Pratt Brown Hall 

23 Herring Hall 

24 Fondren Library 
2 5 RayzorHall 

26 Cohen House 

27 Allen Center 

28 Baker College 

29 Wiess College 

30 Hanszen College 

31 Richardson College 

32 Will Rice College 

33 Lovett College 

34 Jones College 

35 Brown College 

The Tour 


(See Color Plate 1.) We begin at 
Gate Number 1, at the corner of 
Main Street and Sunset Boulevard. 
Here the Rice University shield is 
placed on either side of the entrance. 
Gates 2 and 3 are similar in design, 
with a lantern but without the 
shields. Numerous Rice shields 
appear in and on buildings 
throughout the campus. 

Look closely at the entrance piers 
at Gate Number 1, with their shields 
and wrought-iron lanterns. Until 
recently (19^8) the brick and stone 
piers were covered with ivy. 
From Gate Number 1 , vou mav 

follow the diagram of the tour as 
shown. It will take real stamina to 
complete the full trip in just one 
session, but you can take such 
detours as suit your particular 
interests. You might want to scan 
the book quickly to determine 
which buildings and details you 
most want to see on vour first walk. 

This photograph shows the master 
plan of the campus as drawn by 
William Ward Watkin. The length 
of the academic court was reduced 
by one-half when Fondrcn Library 
was built in 1949. The library was 
originally intended to be located 
within the Graduate School com- 
plex at the north end of the cross 
axis beginning with Gate Number 
4. That gate was to have been a 
main entrance to the campus, and it 
corresponded closely to the major 
access point of both the Boston 
plan and the New York plan of the 
architectural firm Cram, Goodhue 
and Ferguson. We will see this 
master plan again in bronze in the 
left hand of the founder, in the 
center of the academic court. 
Another, more recent change in 

BC3 \^ 

the original plan is the purchase 
in 1983 of the motor inn formerly 
known as the Tidelands, at the 
corner of South Main Street and 
University Boulevard, to be used 
as graduate-student apartments. 
For the first time since 1912, the 
campus has been extended beyond 
its original boundaries. 

Lovett Hall 

The Administration Building rises 
from the Texas prairie. The site could 
hardly have been called heavily 
wooded at the time, although now 
it is extremely difficult to photo- 
graph many campus buildings 
because of the trees. The original 
site was landscaped with trees 
provided by Teas Nursery. 

(See Color Plate 2.) As we stroll 
from Gate Number 1 through a 
tree-lined walk, the Administration 
Building (now called Lovett Hall) 
bursts upon us. The rcdedication, 
when the building was renamed, 
is marked by an inscription on the 
south side of the Sallyport. I clearly 
recall doing the full-size drawing 

of the inscription for Mr. Watkin, 
reading: lovett hall in grateful 


PERENNIUS. (The Latin is a quotation 
from Horace, T have built a monu- 
ment more lasting than bronze.") 

(See Color Plate 3) Approaching 
the building more closely, we could 
spend some time admiring the cen- 
tral tower. The beautiful Sallyport 
arch is flanked by long white applied 
columns that extend the full height 
of the building and are capped by 
lead-covered cupolas, the latter 
being particularly beautiful. Note 
the two handsome dark marble 
columns and the six smaller columns 
at the six pairs of windows. Dr 
Lovett 's office, as described in Dr 
Bray's limerick, was located behind 
the upper three pairs. This central 
tower appears to be symmetrical, 
but you will surely spot the diver- 
gence from symmetry. 

This photograph is a view of the 
Sallyport in the late afternoon. 
The changing sunlight enhances 
the beauty of the buildings as 
the shadows travel during the 
day. We will see other examples 
of this phenomenon later. 

Three handsome bands of stone 
carving adorn the east side of the 
Sallyport. Two of them are floral 
in nature, and the third shows the 
column capital with the initial "R" 
and a delightful jester as part of the 
capital design. Above the capital 
on the band of carving is a pair of 

birds of questionable ancestry, but 
possibly chaparrals. 

Above the birds are a squirrel and 
several fish, with the pair of birds 
beginning a repetition of this 
threefold design. 

(See Color Plate -t.) Flanking the 
Sallyport on each side are the two- 

story balconies with three mono- 
lithic white marble columns. Note 
the carved keystones in each arch 
and the colorful glazed tiles above. 

Here, from an early construction 
slide, the white columns are being 
lifted into place. Fortunately, they 
didn't drop any of these! 

And here is one of the stone 
keystones, another owl, a rather 
stvlized one. 

Some of the capitals are carved 
with a floral design, while others 
show the figure of a long-legged 
slender man emerging from the 
flower. These capitals were, of 

course, designed by the architects 
in Boston, and it is rumored that 
the figure represented William 
Ward Watkin. I never heard either 
Mr. Watkin or Mr Chillman confirm 
this, but the caricature is certainly 
in keeping with Mr. Watkin's physi- 
cal "design. " The white porcelain 
insulators on the corners of the 
capitals carry electrified wires 
intended to intimidate the many 
pigeons that try to nest on the 
campus buildings. 


The cornerstone combines the 
shield of the State of Texas and 
another Rice Institute shield, and 
three are added to the growing fam- 
ily of owls. The Greek inscription 
translates: "Rather,' said Democri- 
tus, would 1 discover the cause of 
one fact than become king of the 
Persians'" This declaration was 
made at a time when to be king of 
the Persians was to rule the world. 
The Roman numeral indicating the 
date is interesting, because instead 
of MDCCCCXI it would normally be 
MCMXl. The latter is hardly as 
attractive architecturalh'. 

If we look up as we pass through 
the Sallyport, we see the head of 
a senior with his mortar board. His 
face reflects the peace of accom- 
plishment at having completed his 
degree requirements. 


On the opposite side (north) is the 
\ ery stern and worried head of the 
junior student, who still has those 
requirements to complete. His brow- 
tells the stor\- of his worries. 


And on the west end of the Sally- 
port on the south side is the head 
of the all-knowing, all-seeing, and 
formerly immature freshman, the 
very mature sophomore. 


Finally, opposite him, is the im- 
mature, giddy freshman, who is 
thrilled at having made it past the 
Admissions Committee, no doubt. 

If you looked up as you passed 
through the Sallyport, you saw high 
on the south wall above the arches 
the circular ceramic of a little owl, 
with four circular ceramics each 
containing three dolphins. On the 
opposite wall, but not shown here, 
is a ceramic white star with the 
four ceramics of dolphins repeated. 
The original architect's drawings 
of these designs are on file in 
the Woodson Research Center 
of Fondrcn Librarv. 

Founders' Room 


This space is now called the Found- 
ers' Room, probably because of the 
ten portraits of members of the first 
board of trustees. Earlier it was 
known as the "Faculty Chamber," 
and was originally intended for 
faculty meetings. At that time it 
contained two handsome banks 
of oak benches along the east and 
west walls. Apparently it was not 
used for this purpose because Dr 
Lo\ett feared such an arrangement 
would divide the faculty into fac- 
tions, much like the seating in the 
houses of Parliament. There is a 
raised platform on the south end, 
which used to contain a small stage. 
The room is obviously two stories 
high, since the photograph was 
taken from a balcony at the north 
end of the room, which is handsome 
in itself because of three white marble 
columns. The rug, made especially 
for the space, has a border of Rice 
shields, with an owl in each corner. 
Access to the room is controlled by 
an alarm system, so the "tourist" 
will find it difficult to view. 


On the west side of Lovett Hall are 
twelve monolithic granite columns. 
Here is another construction photo- 
graph of one of these being lowered 
over a steel centering pin. This 
method of guaranteeing the exact 
location of the column on its base 
is hardly new. The Greeks used it, 
especially when columns were not 
monolithic and each section had to 
be located exactly in the center of 
the section below. However, they 
did not use steel centering pins, but 
lead or stone ones. 


This, another construction photo- 
graph, is one of the twelve capitals 
on the granite columns. These were 
carved in place by Oswald J. Lassig, 
who immigrated to the United States 
from Germany in about 1905 and 
originally worked as a marble- 
cutter of tombstones in Chicago. 


Mr Lassig was brought to Houston 
in 1910 to do the carving on the 
Administration Building, and he 
became a Texan. He later owned 
and operated a limestone quarry in 
McNeil, Texas, just north of Austin; 
he and Mrs. Lassig raised their five 
children there. None of the five was 
born in the United States, though, 
since Mrs. Lassig always returned to 

Germany when each child was to 
be born. Lassig was truly a remark- 
able artist, and he was commissioned 
to do work on later buildings on 
the campus, including the Chemistry 
Building and Cohen House. For his 
rich legacy of magnificent sculpture, 
he deserves to be included here. As 
I have said, the stor\- of Mr. Lassig is 
one in itself and is too lengthy to be 
told here. 


This is the west end of the Salh - 
port arch. The two bands of floral 
carving are similar to those on the 
east end. It should be noted, however, 
that all the carving on Lovett Hall 
was done in place. 



But the other band is entirely 
different. It begins with a man 
with a ram. above which is a floral 
design. The first design at the bot- 
tom includes two seated figures 
that are not repeated again. 

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The carving of a peacock feeding is 
the next image, and then the floral 
pattern is repeated above that. These 
repeat alternately to the very top of 
the arch. Some ha\e speculated 
whether there was any connection 
between the figure of the ram and 
the signs of the zodiac, or perhaps 
some other significance in the field 
of astronomy, since that was one of 
Dr. Lovett's fields of activitv. 


On the west facade of Lovett Hall, 
to the left (north) of the Sallyport, 
is a female figure holding an owl 
in her left hand. This is certainly 
Athena, and this panel represents 
science. The inscription IF w K 


quotation from Aristotle and refers 
to astronomv. 


We can compare the bronze figure 
"Athena Flying Her Owl" with her 
mirror image on Lovett Hall. Note 
that the bronze figure has the right 
knee slightly bent and is holding 
the owl in her right hand, whereas 
the stone figure has the left knee 
slightly bent and is holding the owl 
in her left hand, which is indeed a 
remarkable similarity. The only real 
difference is that the bronze figure 

has her left arm raised, while the 
stone figure has her right arm on 
her head. The photograph of the 
bronze figure is reproduced through 
the courtesy of the Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, Harris Brisbane 
Dick Fund, 19S0. 


The female figure on the south side 
of the Sallyport represents the arts. 


quotation from Plotinus. "When one 
of Lassig's children compared the 
face of the figure with a photograph 
of her mother, she was surprised to 
see that thev were the same. 


South of the Sallyport and above 
the arches are three carved plaques. 
The one on the left has the head of 
Homer on it and symbolizes letters. 
The inscription THE THING that 

\XMCE EVERLASTING is from the 
Greek poet Pindar. 





The plaque in the center represents 
science and has the carved head of 
Isaac Newton. The quotation SPEAK 


THEE is from the biblical philoso- 
pher Job. 


The plaque on the right with the 
head of Leonardo da Vinci rep- 
resents art. Dr. Lovett himself 
wrote the accompanying inscrip- 

VtORLD. Dr. Lovett also composed 
the inscriptions on the corner- 
stones of all the buildings that 
were erected through 1916. 


Again we are fortunate to ha\e this 
construction slide of the west side 
of Lovett Hall showing the applied 
columns with their handsome capi- 
tals. The brickwork and stonework 
had not yet been set in place behind 
them. The pelican and the owl cap- 
itals are in the foreground. I hope 
you have noticed that there are 
innumerable birds of all sizes and 
shapes on the campus buildings. 


A similar view of the completed 
building was taken from the roof 
of the cloister that connects Lovett 
Hall and Sewall Hall. 


The owl capital is shown with the 
wise old bird on three sides of the 
capital. As noted above, you will 
see many other birds if you are obser- 
vant, such as doves, peacocks, and 
chaparrals (road-runners). 


Here are the pelicans on the tall 
applied columns. There are only 
two on each capital, since they are 
carved on the corners rather than 
on the faces of the capitals. 


Now wc see the capital with the 
seal of Aesculapius, the Roman god 
of medicine. On the preliminary 
campus plan prepared in Boston, 
provision was actually made for a 
medical school. 

Now we return to the twelve 
granite columns that line the cloister 
on the west side of Lovett Hall, six 
on each side of the Sallyport. There 
are three types of capitals on them; 
each type occurs four times. (See 
Figure 1.) 


Counting from the south (refer to 
Figure 1), columns 1, 4, 9. and 12 
are the chaparral capitals. The 
chaparral is also a native Texan, and 
the fact that it is a member of the 
cuckoo familv is, I'm sure, irrelevant. 


Columns 3. 6, 7, and 10 are the 
campus life capitals, showing a 
coed with her 1912 mod hat, the 
intrigued student with an unread 
book in his lap looking her way, 
and the football player, also in a 
1912 uniform and undoubtedly 
interested, as he is running in her 
direction. He has been chasing her 
unsuccessfully on these capitals 
since 1912! 


Columns 2, 5, 8, and 11 are carved 
with the heads of the founders of 
various disciplines, or the leaders 
in various fields of endeavor Refer- 
ring again to the diagram, the per- 
sons whose heads are represented 
on columns 2,8, and 11 are not 
shown here. Amazingh, two of 
the men represented were cousins: 
Charles Darwin and Sir Francis 
Galton were grandsons of Erasmus 
Darwin, the English naturalist and 
poet. Only those heads on column 
5 are shown here, the first on the 
south side of the column being 
Ferdinand de Lesseps, a French 
diplomat and engineer who rep- 
resents the field of engineering; 
he was honored for his part in 
constructing the Suez Canal 




On the west side of column 5 is 
Louis Pasteur, a French chemist and 
bacteriologist, representing medicine. 


On the north side is Christopher 
Columbus, the ItaUan explorer and 
navigator, who represents commerce. 


And on the east (cloister) side is 
Thomas Jefferson — statesman, law- 
yer, and architect— who represents 

These capitals bear a remarkable 
resemblance to those on the Doge's 
Palace in Venice. Those in Italy, 
however, are not as large as the Rice 
ones, nor are they nearly so finely 
carved. An article in the Houston 
Post at the time of the official open- 
ing of the new institute reported 
that some of the heads on the 
columns were being carved out of 
historical sequence, and that Mr. 
Watkin asked Mr. Lassig to attempt 
to change them by cutting the 
stone more deeply. Mr Lassig is 
supposed to have been successful 
in doing so. The precise sequence 
of dates, though, seems to correlate 
only approximately with the men's 
sequence on the capitals. On the 
other hand, the same newspaper 
reported that the head on the north 
side of column 11 is that of James 
Currie, a Scottish physician, whereas 
all subsequent references are to 
Pierre Curie, the French scientist. 
In any case, none of these uncer- 
tainties detracts from the beauty 

of the capitals and the fascination 
they hold for us. 

Much has been said about the 
brickwork on Lovett Hall. Because 
of the unusually thick bed of mor- 
tar of one inch, it was impossible to 
lay more than two or three courses 
of brick a day. It has also been said 
that this heavy mortar joint gave 
the brickwork a horizontal feeling; 
but that appearance, while true, 
is not due to the horizontal joint 
alone. The unsung trick lies in the 
almost total absence of mortar in 
the vertical head joint. An interest- 
ing exercise exists in comparing the 
appearance of the brickwork on 
Lovett Hall with that on the Ryon 
Engineering Laboratory. The exis- 
tence of a considerable head joint 
on the latter building gives the 
brickwork quite a different effect. 


On the cloisters connecting Lovett 
Hall to the Physics Building and 
Lovett Hall to Sewall Hall are five 
carved medallions and two carved 
shields. These are similar to some 
on the Giotto cathedral tower in 
Florence, Italy, although the latter 

are in a diamond shape instead of a 
circle. From left to right, these are 
the shield of the State of Texas (not 
shown in the photograph); a man 
with a shovel, representing agricul- 
ture; a man with a sphere, represent- 
ing geography; a man with a book, 
representing literature; a man 
observing lightning, representing 
meteorology; a man with a chisel, 
representing sculpture; and the 
shield of the Rice Institute, with 
even three more owls. 

There are actually three sets of 
medallions on each side of each 
cloister, but the shields are reversed 
in order in the third set. Can you 
find the miniature owl between the 
man with the chisel and the shield 
on the right? The small black spot 
on the edge of meteorology is a 
piece of ball moss. 


Between the sets of medallions are 
two peacocks worked into a circu- 
lar design, with a lamp of oil or a 
basket of fruit in the center. 

(See Color Plate 5.) Here is the 
west elevation of Lovett Hall as it is 
seen from the statue of the founder 
The shadows of the turrets of Sewall 
Hall on the right add movement 
and variety. Also, in the late after- 
noon the ceramic tiles along the 
upper part of the building reflect 
almost like gems. 

Physics Building 


Leaving Lovett Hall, we proceed to 
the next building constructed on 
the academic court. The Physics 
Laboratory was built in 1914, and 
the architects were of course Cram, 
Goodhue and Ferguson. Although 
it is not obvious from this photo- 
graph, the arches are not all the 
same height, the tallest being 
located in the center under the 
stone balcony. The cornerstone on 
the southwest corner of the build- 
ing continues the method of record- 
ing the date in Roman numerals: 
MDCCCCXiv. Thanks to the head 
stonemason, Mr. Ernest W. Harrow- 
ing, I am fortunate to have a 4" x 6 " 
portion of a slab of dark green veined 
marble that was to have been placed 
on the south wall of the building 
near the west end. This piece of 
marble was rejected by Mr. Watkin. 
since it was slightly damaged. 

(See Color Plate 6.) The main 
entrance to the Physics Building 
shows its brilliant mosaic designs. 


A balcony over the main entrance 
serves as a pigeon rookery, which 
fortunately is not obvious from 
below. However, it does not make 
for a pleasant experience in reach- 
ing the balcony from one of the 
Physics lecture rooms to photo- 
graph the handsome owls. 


On each corner of the balcony is a 
stone owl, and here is one of them. 
This is probably the finest carved 
owl on the entire campus. Even today 
the chisel marks on his feathers are 
distinct and unweathered. 





A portion of the south facade 
shows the different heights of the 
arches and the handsome turrets. 
Under these turrets is a series of 
ventilating shafts that previously 
permitted fumes from the chem- 
istry laboratories below to be 
exhausted into the atmosphere. 

While no longer used in that man- 
ner, a few are used in connection 
with the air conditioning, which 
was installed at a later date. When 
chemistry moved to its own facili- 
ties in 1925. the pigeons promptly 
moved into the vents. They were 
later evicted. 





There are a number of attractive 
drinking fountains around the cam- 
pus, some, but not many, still being 
operational. You will find this one 
of marble and stone at the west end 
of the physics cloisters. 


Just before entering the building, 
you will see two brick niches, one 
on each side. While these niches 
are attractive examples of fine brick- 
work with wedge-shaped bricks 
and bricks with curved surfaces, 
the students find them amusing. 

as they are known as "whispering 
niches." If two people climb into 
the two niches and kneel with their 
backs to each other, the person in 
one niche can converse with the 
person in the other by speaking in 
a whisper If you are young you 
might try it. 


A particularly interesting angle 
shows the turrets on the rear of the 
building partially framed by those 
on the front. Shadows of the turrets 
on the Physics Amphitheatre are 
continually changing. At times the 
shadow of only one turret is seen, 
while at other times, both turrets 
cast shadows on the wall behind. 


The architects even designed the 
hardware for the first buildings. 
The original drawings for this 
snake may be seen in the archives 
in Fondren Library, as may the 
drawing of the peacock door plates. 


with a 

the door plate designed 
pair of peacoci<s. 

Inside the main entrance to the 
Physics Building is a lobby with a 
tiled, vaulted ceiling. Incorporated 
in the ceiling design are four special 
tiles with human figures on them 
and the words "Mind" (shown 
here), "Method," "Matter," and 
"Motion." This lobby is extremely 
alive acoustically, so if you stand in 
the center and clap your hands, the 
space will clap back at you. 


At the high point of the ceiling is a 
ceramic tile star. 1 presume of the 
State of Texas. 


In this same lobby there art four 
very handsome bronze owls that 
are part of the design of the orig- 
inal light fixtures. Early in the 
morning of April 15,1983. all four 
of these were disconnected and 
stolen. This created quite a stir, as 
the university alerted antique deal- 
ers throughout the country to be 
on the alert for them; the press also 
reported their theft. Dr Stephen 
Baker, a member of the physics 
faculty, offered a S500 reward for 
information leading to their recov- 
ery. Later Dr Baker received an 
anonymous poem that, through 
interpretation of a riddle, led to 
their recovery and eventual rein- 
stallation. Two of them were found 
on the roof of Lovett Hall, and the 
other pair in the basement of 
Lovett Hall near the Admissions 
Office files. 


This cloister with particularly nice 
architectural detailing connects the 
main Physics Building to the Phys- 
ics Amphitheatre. Another of the 
drinking fountains is located at the 

south end of this cloister A con- 
struction photograph taken about 
1913, which 1 could not include, 
shows this same view about half 
completed. Notice how much more 
brick there is on the Amphitheatre, 
it not being located directly on the 
academic quadrangle. Note also the 
handsome shadows of the turrets 
on the Physics Building. These 
shadows move from west to east 
every day of the year, the vertical 
location of the shadows depending 
on the time of day and the time 
of year. 


Look closely at the east end of the 
Amphitheatre; shown here is the 
center of three sets of three windows 
each and the pairs of delicate marble 
columns between the windows. 

(See Color Plate ^. ) This is a detail 
of one of the two stone owls on the 
Amphitheatre and the multicolored 
mosaic design around the inlay of 
black marble. 


1^ :■: . . 










Over the north entry to the 
Amphitheatre is a carved stone 
pediment with even another Rice 
shield. The floral pattern contains 
at least one bird of doubtful ances- 
try. The carving over this entrance 
and on each side is stonework that 
goes unnoticed by most people but 
is extremely interesting. 


On each side of this entrance are 
two carved panels that are especially 
delightful. In the top panel the stu- 
dent with a book at one end and the 
ancient professor or philosopher at 
the other are probably clear in their 
meaning, but the bottom panel is 
not so obvious. It is believed that 
the bird and the peccary (javelina) 
represent the animals on Noah's Ark, 
but I would have thought they should 
appear in pairs. The central figure 
mav be Adam in the Garden of Eden, 

with the sun causing luxuriant 
growth in the garden. The two fig- 
ures on the other end may indeed 
be Cain and Abel. Each figure holds 
a weapon of some sort in his hand, 
but Cain, who appears to have the 
upper hand, surprisingly wears 
what appears to be a coonskin cap! 
The biblical interpretation is a nice 
one, it being very hard to relate 
these carvings directly to the field 
of physics. 

At this point you might wish to 
digress from the tour to cross the 
road and strike out in the direction 
of Jones and Brown colleges, since 
this is our nearest point to them. 
(In that case, refer to photographs 
212-214.) I prefer to make a separate 
visit at the end, since they can then 
be visited with the other colleges. 

Sewall Hall 


The east end of the academic court 
was completed with the construction 
of Cleveland Sewall Hall in 19'' 1. 
The architects, Lloyd and Jones, 
admirably solved the problem of 
providing a building that conforms 
to the original campus plan and 
resembles the building on the 
opposite side of the academic 
court, yet serves functions entirelv 

different from those of the Physics 
Building. The donor, Mrs. Cleveland 
Sewall, provided sufficient funds 
that the turrets and much of the 
carving on the Physics Building 
could be reproduced. Also, although 
not identical, the arches, fenestra- 
tion, and combination of marble, 
stone, and brick almost match the 
other building. However, there is 
no balcony with marvelous stone 

owls, and this is natural since the 
main entrance is not located at the 
highest of the arches. On a number 
of places on the roof, glass roofing 
tiles were used in place of the clay 
tiles to permit natural light to enter 
the fine arts studios below. 


This interesting view of the juncture 
of Lovett Hall and Sewall Hall seems 
to indicate that there is a stairway 
to the roof of the connecting cloister, 
but this is just another of the many 
variations of shadows that add 
interest to the campus. 

Academic Court 


t ^^^^^^Sk . 



In the center of the academic court 
is the statue of the man who made 
it all possible: William Marsh Rice. 
It is also his tomb. This monument 
was executed by the sculptor John 
Angell in 1930. In the early morn- 
ing hours of April 12, 1988, a group 
of ten undergraduates and one grad- 

uate, with the help of a pair of large 
wood A-frames they had designed 
and tested, successfully lifted this 
statue, rotated it 180°, and lowered 
it back onto its pedestal. For the 
first time William M. Rice was able 
to look upon his university library! 
But before he could see the setting 
sun for the first time, a professional 
crew had been summoned to return 
Mr. Rice to his original orientation. 
While the student "criminals'" had 
to pay for the cost of the professional 
moving crew and their equipment, 
this cost was more than offset by the 
sale of 500 commemorative T-shirts 
at SIO each. If you are interested in 
reading more about this happy 
event, it is covered fully in the 
Sallyport issue of April-May 1988. 


On the east side of the monument 
is the seal of Rice Institute with the 
inscription salve aetl'RNUM aeter- 
NUMQUE SALVE. This is a quotation 
from Virgil, but Latin scholars report 
that it was a salutation used in Roman 
funerals, where the free translation 
became 'Farewell forever and forever, 
farewell." Literally translated, the 

inscription reads "Hail forever and 
forever, hail." The south side of the 
pedestal has the seal of the State of 
Massachusetts, where Mr. Rice was 
born. The quotation is translated, 
"By the sword we seek peace, but 
peace only under liberty." On the 
west face under the shield of the 
L'nited States is the familiar Latin 
phrase E PLL'RIBL'S INI'M: "From 
many one." And on the north side 
of the pedestal is the seal of the 
State of Texas with the inscription 
IMPERILM IN LMPERio. This quotation 
translated is "empire within an 
empire" and is borrowed from the 
motto of the State of Ohio. 


In the left hand of the founder on a 
bronze scroll is the master plan of 
the university. This can be viewed 
on tiptoe by basketball players, but 
the rest of us need some mechani- 
cal aid. It is very easy to recognize 
the locations of many of the build- 
ings on campus, including Lovctt 
Hall, the Physics Building, Sewall 
Hall, Anderson Hall, Rayzor Hall, 
and others. You won't find the 
library on this master plan. But 
compare it with photograph 2 to 
recognize the similarities as well 
as the variances from the original 
plan. Some find it difficult to 
understand how Mr Rice, who 
died in 1900, managed to obtain 
this advance copy of the campus 
plan drawn in 1910. 


On the back of Mr Rice's chair is 
the shield of the university repeated 
again, this time in bronze. The three 
owls on this shield are different 
from any others on the various Rice 
shields— much more lifelike with 
the very large left eye, the right eye 
being barely visible. Few people are 
aware of the location of this shield 
and these unusual owls. 

Anderson Hall 


Anderson Hall's contribution to the 
architectural interest of the campus 
is a bit limited, but one thing that 
the students really enjoy is the 
decorative frieze cut into marble at 
the entry nearest the statue. If you 
run your finger rapidly over the 
vertical row of holes, a derisive 
sound very similar to the "Bronx 
cheer" is generated. Perhaps this 
was an effort on the part of the 
architect to achieve sound in archi- 
tecture. Try it and you'll try it more 
than once! 

When Anderson Hall was built in 
19-1^. the architects were Staub, 
Rather and Howze. Major additions 
and alterations were made in 1981 
when James Stirling was the archi- 
tect, with McEnany and Ambrose 
being the local representatives for 
Mr Stirling. (McEnany is the son of 
the late Michael V. McEnany, who 
was professor of electrical engineer- 
ing, registrar, and dean of under- 
graduate affairs for many years.) 

When the building was remodeled, 
a feature somewhat reminiscent of 
the turrets on the Physics Building 
and on Sewall Hall was introduced. 
These were the "lanterns, " but 

their function is entirely different, 
since their purpose is to admit light 
into the interior. 

Dell Butcher Hall 
(Chemistry Building) 


The Chemistry Building was built 
in 192S. with William ^X•a^d >Xatkin, 
Cram and Ferguson as architects. It 
is a storehouse of symbols, some of 
which date back to the Chaldean 
civilization of 1500 BC and beyond 
At least two volumes explaining the 
details are available in the Fondren 
Library for those who wish to delve 
more deeply into the various symbols. 
This photograph, taken around 
1930, shows the rose garden of the 
legendary Tony Martino (master of 
campus planting), where Anderson 
Hall is now located. It is no longer 
possible to photograph this building 
because of the planting obscuring it . 
In 1990 the Chemistry Building was 
renamed Dell Butcher Hall in honor 
of former trustee Ernest Dell Butcher 
'34, who served the university in 
many capacities, and in particular 
supported the Chemistry and Chem- 
ical Engineering departments. 

Notice the arched entrance to the 
cloister at the lower entry to the 
Chemistry Lecture Hall. The arch 
was located too far to the left during 
construction, there being no brick 
between the stone on the left side 
of the opening and wall of the lecture 
hall, while there are ten inches of 
brick or more between the stone on 
the right of the opening and the 
brick pier Had the arch been moved 
five inches to the right, there would 
have been space for all three Fates 
on the left capital. 


I photographed a print of the original 
tracing of the three Fates of destiny 
from Greek mythology, where Clotho 

v^^/fr. ^ 

spins the thread of life, Lachesis 
measures it, and Atropos severs it. 
Our three Fates of academic destiny 
are Samuel Glenn McCann, the direc- 
tor of admissions; Harry Caldwell, 
dean of the Institute, who is meas- 
uring (by grades) the thread of 
knowledge; and Dr Radoslav Tsanoff, 
chairman of the Committee on 
Examinations and Standings, who 

severs the academic thread with a 
menacing pair of shears. The original 
drawings of the other three capitals 
are in the university archives, but 
the original drawing of the three 
Fates has been lost. Fortunately a 
print was made before it disappeared. 
These four capital designs were 
made by James Chillman of the 
faculty in architecture. 


Only Mr. McCann and Dean Caldwell 
made it into the final carving. 


On the opposite side of the arch is 
a freshman in Chemistry 100 with 
his bunsen burner, extracting poison 
from the dragon's tooth. 


Around the corner is the carving 
of the tall (6 foot, 4 inch), thin (l40 
pounds), very length)'-legged William 
Ward Watkin with a T-square in hand. 
Architectural students are bowing 
down in due respect, perhaps to 
the Lord High Executioner, and Mr. 
VC'atkin has one foot on the neck of 
a freshman. Mr. Chillman's original 
pencil drawing showed a halo over 
Mr. Watkin's head, but this was 
deleted by the architect. (Architec- 
ture was housed in this building 
when it was completed.) 


The last capital is a huge winged 
dragon with the head of Harry B. 
>X'eiser, instead of the crested head. 
Note the terrible claws with which 
the dragon subdues a student. The 
head in the upper right-hand cor- 
ner is that of Mr Flanigan, who was 
in charge of the chemistry storeroom 
and was Dr. Weiser's assistant. 


You will want particularly to 
appreciate the impressive upper 
entrance to the Chemistry 
Lecture Hall. 


Now we see a circular design called 
an enigma, this being Kircher's 
enigma. These were designed by 
the alchemists to confuse the 
observer and were intended to con- 
ceal what was considered a basic 
principle of alchemy. A drawing of 
this may be found in the book .4 
History of Chemistry from the 
Earliest Times, by James Campbell 
Brown (Philadelphia: P. Blakiston's 
Son & Co., 2nd ed., 1920). The first 
letter of each word in the outer ring 
spells SVLPHVR (sulphur); in the 
middle ring. Fix\ M; and in the inner 
ring, EST SOL. Combining these into 

a single sentence, we get SULPHUR 
FIXUM EST SOL. The word sol is 
translated "gold," since gold was 
symbolized by the sun. The expres- 
sion then reads, " Fixed sulphur is 
synonymous with gold." 


On the face of the chemistry tower 
is Basil Valentine's enigma. In this 
case the first letters of the words 
spell "vitriol." The seven circular 
forms at the top are the symbols 
of the seven metals; the eagle is 
symbolic of the volatile (unstable) 
principle and the lion of the fixed 
(stable) principle. 


On each side of the chemistry tower 
are entrances to the building with 
pairs of white columns supporting 
three stone arches. This cloister 
creates an outside vestibule where 
several stone carvings of a pair of 
dragons are located. The one with 
wings represents mercury — the 
volatile principle and the female — 
while the one without wings 
represents sulphur — the fixed prin- 
ciple and the male. (There was no 
pretense of equality between the 
sexes in those days. ) For many years 
the annual commencement was 
held under a tent located in the 

court created by the tower, these 
entrances, and the two adjacent 
laboratory wings. Don't fail to look 
up to the third floor on each side of 
the tower to enjoy the delicate little 
pink columns and supported arches. 


On the cloister to the right of the 
tower are two triangular symbols 
in stone. These are equilateral trian- 
gles with the vertices down, the one 
on the left signifying water and the 
one on the right with a horizontal 
bar representing earth. On the left 
of the tower are two similar stone 
triangles, but with the vertices of 
the triangles up. The one on the 
left is fire, and the one on the right 
with a horizontal crossbar is air The 
latter pair are badly weathered and 
should be replaced. 


The chemistry tower itself is the 
location of a number of interesting 
symbols; in particular, the first part 
of the periodic table is recorded in 
contemporary symbols on the 
octagonal portion of the tower. 


In 1869 Mendeleeff, whose head 
you may recall appears on the north 
side of column 8 on Lovett Hall, first 
organized the periodic table, in which 
he arranged the elements in order 
of their atomic weights. The lightest 
element shown on the tower is 
helium (He), followed in order by 
lithium (Li), beryllium (Be), boron 
(B), carbon (C), nitrogen (N), oxygen 
(O), and fluorine (F). In this photo- 
graph we see helium and lithium. 


Identification of many of the symbols 
on the (Chemistry Building was made 
much easier by a letter written to 
\X illiam Ward Watkin by Dr William 
N. Craig, a member of the chemistry 
faculty in 1923. Of the many sym- 
bols that he describes or sketches, 
one is the symbol for phlogiston, a 
theory of combustibility supported 
by some chemists between 1650 
and nv^. The same symbol is also 
shown in the circular ceramic tiles 
in some of the arched windows. The 
principle was that every material 
that was flammable contained some 
property within it that caused it to 
burn. Of course, there were also 
antiphlogiston chemists. This sym- 
bol appears on four sides of the 
tower just below the level where it 
changes from a square to an octagon. 


The east and west ends of the 
Chemistry Building have been 
obscured by the recent addition of 
stair towers, but some of the symbols 
in glazed tile were included in the 
additions. They were occasionally 
installed upside down or sideways. 

In the court adjacent to the Chem- 
istry Lecture Hall is another stone 
balcony that is somewhat similar to 
the original one at the east end. In 
this court we also see the marble 
columns at the third-floor level, 
which are a continuation of those 
on each side of the chemistrv tower. 


A major remodeling of the Chemistry 
Building occurred in 19^7. At that 
time fire stairs were constructed 
at the east and west ends of the 
building. The original east end was 
particularly attractive, with the stone 
balcony over the entrance door, pairs 

of windows with a marble column 
at the second- and third floor levels, 
and three little arches at the attic level. 


When the east fire stairs were 
added, the architectural features of 
the old building were transported 
bodily farther east, as shown— a 
very commendable trick by archi- 
tect S. 1. Morris and Associates. 


Many of the circular ceramic sym- 
bols located in the arches of the 
Chemistry Building are identified 
in James Campbell Brown's book, 
cited earlier I like to think of these 
as the della Robbias of the Rice 
campus, as they are quite similar 
to the real thing in Italy. This is the 
symbol for gold, represented by the 
sun. They may have thought the 
sun was a planet. 




And here we see the symbol for 
copper, also representing the planet 
Venus. One writer feels that this 
symbol represents Venus's hand 
mirror. It actually goes back many 
centuries to the Chaldeans, whose 
"chemists" associated the "seven" 
metals with the seven planets that 
they knew. If you see this symbol 
installed upside down (I couldn't 
find one), it is the symbol for anti- 
mony and not upside down at all. If 
you find it sideways, which it is on 
at least one occasion, it represents 
the license of the brickmason. 



This symbol for iron, representing 
also the planet Mars, has become 
very popular today. But remember 
that the symbol dates back many 
centuries. Again, this is reported to 
represent the shield and spear of 
Mars, the god of war. 


Also representing the planet Jupiter 
is the svmbol for tin. 




Here is lead, representing the 
planet Saturn. 


Then silver, represented by tht 



And mercury, obviously represent- 
ing the planet Mercur) 


In the book Chemie et Chemistes 
by R. Massain, which is written 
mostly in French, this symbol is 
for water, composed of one atom 
of hydrogen (on the left) and one 
atom of oxygen (on the right.) At 
least that's the way they thought 
it was! John Dalton, an English 
chemist, thought of the atoms as 
being spherical; hence so many 

of the symbols are indicated with 
various combinations of circles. 


And here is the symbol for ammonia, 
composed of one atom of nitrogen 
and one of hydrogen. 


This is the svmbol for oxvnitric acid. 


This symbol is incorporated into 
the building upside down on at 
least one occasion and represents 
volatile alkali 


This is fixed alkali 


And here is sulphuric acid. 


This is nitric acid. I'm not sure what 
the difference is between oxynitric 
acid and nitric acid, but there are 
different symbols for them. 


Finally, this is hydrochloric acid. 
I'm sure I must have missed at least 
one symbol, but the books to which 
I have referred should show them 
all. Do not fail to walk around to 
the north and west sides of the 
Chemistry Building. Many of the 
alchemical symbols arc on the 
north side, and it is especially rich 
in other architectural detail as well. 

45°, 90° 180° 

The "sculpture" 45°, 90°. 180° by 
the well-known sculptor Michael 
Heizer attempts to dominate the 
engineering quadrangle but still fails 
to surpass the great campanile, which 
is visible from so many locations on 
campus. My personal opinion is that 
the work is architecture more than 

it is sculpture since the designer 
undoubtedly prepared drawings for 
its construction but did not actually 
execute the work with his own hands. 
This is exactly the manner in which 
an architect operates. Indeed, like 
architecture, it is both a pleasure to 
the eye and functional; the individual 
pieces provide places for students 
to relax, to have lunch, and to enjoy 
each other's company. This group, 
called "the rocks" by students, was 
added to the campus in 1984: "A gift 
to Rice University in tribute to George 
and Alice Brown by their family. " 

Abercrombie Engineering 


From the Chemistr)- Building wc 
move on to the J. S. Abercrombie 
Laboratory for electrical engineer- 
ing, built in 1948, also the work of 
Staub, Rather and Howze. This was 
the second project in a rash of con- 
struction that began in 1947 with 
Anderson Hall and ended with Fon- 
dren Library in 1949. This building 
did hold rather closely to the philos- 
ophy that academic buildings off 
the main academic court should be 
built with more stone and brick and 
less marble. 


The only ornamentation on the 
building is the stone carving by 
William McVey. This figure rep- 
resents man taking energy from 
the heavens (the sun) and putting 
it to work on the earth. The build- 
ing and the sculpture were, at one 
time, difficult to photograph be- 
cause of the many Japanese rain 
trees planted in front of it. An enor- 
mous area of the second floor was 
the location of an equally enor- 
mous computer, the first built on 
the Rice campus. 


From some earlier day, in the 1930s 
or I94()s, comes this lovely but 
unusual photograph of the campus. 
Notice the very unattractive parking 
lots in (ront of the Administration 
Building and the old Mechanical 
1 aboratory! What an improvement 
toda\ s arrangement is. If you 
thought back to the construction 
dates ol Anderson Hall and Fondren 
Library you might be a bit confused, 
because Fondren opened in 1949, 
whereas the J. S. Abercrombie 
Laboratory was completed in 1948 

and doesn't show at all! Closer 
examination of Anderson and Fon- 
dren will show that the east end of 
Anderson isn't at all as shown, nor 
are the arches and cloisters of Fon- 
dren as actually built. I suspect that 
photographs of the models of these 
two buildings were imposed upon 

the earlier photograph by the archi 
tects Staub, Rather and Howze to 
show the Board of Trustees how 
the new buildings would fit in. 

Mechanical Laboratory 


Moving back over the years, we 
have this construction photograph 
of the campanile tower as it was 
originally built in 1912. 

(See Color Plate 8.) While you 
can't see the original on the tour, 
you can see it as remodeled in 1930 
after it was struck by lightning I 
personally think it is much more 
photogenic now. 


This is a rather unusual view of the 
campanile, sometimes called a toad's- 
eye view. Campaniles were originally 
bell towers, but ours is one of the 
most beautiful smokestacks ever 
built, and now nonpolluting, too. 


While in the area of the original 
Mechanical Lab, you should enjoy 
the stone balcony with its seven 
ceramic symbols under the eave 
of the building. These ceramics are 
not as easy to see in the photo- 
graph as they are on the site, but 
the one in the middle is (surprise) 
an owl. Similar designs are under 
the eaves of the Physics Building. 


And this inscription at the base of 
the column near the entrance looks 
very much like a contemporary 
logo: WMRI 1911 


Htre on the north side of the 
Mechanical Lab, in at least two 
locations, is a blue ceramic shield 
flanked on each side by blue ceram- 
ic stars. It takes a little hunting to 
find these. 

There is a very attractive brick 
niche on the south side of the 
building that is almost identical to 

the whispering niches at the Phys- 
ics Building. This one, however, 
houses an inactive fountain and is 
not a sound chamber At one time 
an inscription in chalk on this brick 
niche read "fountain of vouth. " 

Mechanical Engineering 


The new Mechanical Engineering 
Building was designed by Calhoun, 
Tungate, Jackson and Dill Architects, 
and is located on the west side of 
the engineering quadrangle. Built 
in 1985, it was a gift from John L. 
and Maurine Cox. The building 
continues the arch forms of the old 
■Mechanical Laboratory but has very 
wide overhanging eaves echoing 
the design of the Physics Building, 
and while it uses many of the 
materials of the original campus 
buildings, buff brick and limestone, 
with blue ceramic designs within 
the brick arches over the windows. 

it does not include some of the 
charming details of earlier struc- 
tures, probably because of cost. 
The windows and decorative forms 
over the entrance resemble the bal- 
conies so frequently used elsewhere. 
And this building departs from the 
consistent earlier custom of using 
Roman numerals on its cornerstone. 
The Department of Mechanical 
Engineering and Material Sciences 
lives here. 

Ryon Engineering Laboratory 


Ryon Laboratory gives us another 
chance to see the campanile. This 
civil engineering building was 
financed mainly by the gift of Mr. 
and Mrs. L.B. Ryon, whose photo- 
graph hangs in the first-floor lobby. 
Mr. Ryon was chairman of that 
department for many years. ^X'hen 
the Ryons' gift was announced, the 
remainder of the faculty was quick 
to remind the administration that 
the Ryons had not accumulated the 
funds from his Rice salary. This 
building was completed in 1965. 
Calhoun, Tungate and Jackson were 
the architects. 

Mudd Building 


The Mudd Building, erected in 
1983, with Charles Tapley and 
Associates as architects, houses the 
three branches of the Information 
Systems of the university and is a 
beehive of activity at almost any 
hour Unfortunately the building is 
surrounded by Hamman Hall, the 
Ryon Civil Engineering Building, 
and the Herman Brown Building, 
making it difficult either to view it 
properly or to photograph it. There 
is a pleasant entrance area and an 
interesting octagonal skylight in the 
upper level. It does use both the 
limestone and the brick of earlier 
buildings, but it also introduces for 
the first time the dark horizontal 

bands of St. Joe brick. The only 
"della Robbias" used here are the 
ceramics containing the initial'R." 
The casual or even frequent visitor 
might miss the small limestone 
columns on the west side. 

Herman Brown Building 


This is an interesting \ievv of the 
Herman Brown Building, which, 
although it was constructed in 
1968, was not dedicated until 19''1. 
George and Abel Pierce were the 
architects. The departments of 
Computer Science. Mathematics, 
Mathematical Sciences, and 
Statistics "live" here. 

Hamman Hail 


Next door Hamman Hall, an 
auditorium with a capacity of 
about five hundred, is the home 
of the Rice Players and parts of the 
Shepherd School of Music. This 
building has many small glazed 
tiles, sometimes called "goodies," 
intermingled in the brickwork. The 
outside lobby of the building, like 
the entrance vestibule of the Ph>sics 
Building, has a very high reverbera- 
tion time. The inside lobby is also 
highly sound-reflective. A little 
hand-clapping here is both impres- 
sive and fun. Hamman Hall was 
officially opened in 1958 with the 
faculty Gilbert and Sullivan Society 
presentation oi Princess Ida. The 

selection was a particularly appro- 
priate one, since this was also the 
first full year that Mary Gibbs Jones 
College was open. (The operetta is 
about a most unusual women's 

Space Science 

and Technology Building 


From here we move to three science 
buildings, all of which were designed 
in the same architectural feeling by 
the same architects, Pierce and Pierce, 
who also designed Hamman Hall. 
The Space Science and Technology 
Building is the first of these, although 
it was actually built last, in 1966 
Professor Emeritus David G. Parsons 
was commissioned to design special 
bricks for these buildings, and he 
carved a fascinating series of wood 
molds from which the sculptural 
bricks were cast. The story of the 
casting of these is one in itself, 
since a large majority of those 

manufactured had to be rejected. 
These bricks relate to the discipline 
of each building: space sciences, 
geology, and biology. Unlike the 
geology and biology buildings, 
this one did not have a special 
piece of sculpture in the stair tower 
on the east end. I understand the 
government paid for a large part 
of this building, so we were very 
lucky to be able to include even 
Mr. Parsons' bricks. 

of gravity, an apple, of 


Here is Saturn with its rings 


Now Sputnik, which was really 
responsible for launching the spac 
program, including this building. 


This (probably) is Halley's Comet 
Not shown is a modern rocket 
superimposed on the first rocket, 
the Goddard Rocket. Others not 
shown are the Sun of Archimedes, 
the Aurora Borealis, disk antennae, 
spiral nebulae, an atomic particle, a 
proton, a neutron, and a symbol of 
the earth's magnetic fields. 

Keith -Wiess Geological 

f\ "^ -z^' 1 


Now we come to the geology build- 
ing built in 1958. At one time there 
was a handsome and fascinating 
mobile in the stairwell at the east 
end. It was hung from the third- 
floor ceiling on a large swivel; but 
the high winds of Hurricane Carla 
caused it to break loose, and it was 
badly damaged. Dave Parsons was 
the designer and constructed it 
himself. It represented the galaxy 
of which our solar system is a part. 
The earth was a pretty small part 
of the system, but it was a delight 
to watch the metal and heavy 
stained glass parts revolve. 


Htrt irt I few ot tht bricks th it 
rtl ite to the field ot gcolog) 1 irst 
the chambered nautilus. 


Then the fossil leaf 



And the trilobite. 


Here is a seismograph reading. 
Other bricks that are not shown 
are two different representations 
of twin calcite crystals, the world 
symbol, earth strata, ammonite 
suture pattern, fossil bark, and the 
light interference pattern in crystals. 

Anderson Biological 


Here we sec the Biology Lecture 
Hall, a later addition to the group, 
and the open court between biolo- 
gy on the left and geology on the 
right. When the biology building 
was originally constructed, a small 
horizontal slot was cut in one of the 
green marble panels on the north 
side. Through this slot hundreds of 

h()ne\ bees moved in and out trom 
their hive inside the building. The 
queen and some of the bees had 
been brought from the Physics 
Building in 1958. It was a fascinat- 
ing experience to search for the 
queen, who lived under glass so 
that the hive could be monitored. 
Alas, this prolific lady and her 
family no longer exist. 

:•«« ' 


And here is a good photo of one of 
Dave Parsons' bricks, the moth. 


Now the jellyfish. 


Then the scorpion, one of my 


And the molecular model of the 
amino acid glycine. You should 
search for a number of others: the 
squid, the starfish, the human 
embryo, a tapeworm, Wisconsin 
earthworms, hookworms, pro- 
tozoa, cell division, the power- 

house of the ctll (mitochondrion) 
and fmalh ON A 



The biology building, also built in 
1958, is another of those buildings 
that is much obscured by landscap- 
ing. Hence the photograph of this 
building is of the west end, which 
is a more recent addition. In the 
east stairwell, however, is a three- 
story sculpture by Dave Parsons. 
The later addition to the west end 
obscured or covered up one of my 
favorite mistakes, a jellyfish brick 
incorporated into the masonry with 
the tentacles sticking up! 

George R. Brown 
Biosciences Building 


Set in the middle of one of the cross - 
axes of the campus plan, where 
one previously had an uninterrupted 
view from Richardson residential 
college all the way to Hamman 
Hall, is the new George R. Brown 
Biosciences Building. The name of 
the building indicates the depart- 
ments that will be occupants — 
Biochemistry. Bioengineering, and 
others. The architects for this build- 
ing are The Cambridge Seven, a 
firm which includes a Rice architec- 
tural alumnus, Charles Redmon. 
This building is almost surrounded 
by other science and engineering 
buildings. The photograph of a model 
(as this book goes to press the build- 
ing is under construction) shows 
that the materials used, limestone 
and buff brick, will help it blend in 
with existing campus buildings. 

Rice Memorial Student 
Center and Chapel 


Across the road we can see the 
handsome bronze push plates on 
the entrance to the Rice Memorial 
Center, showing a very nice R I. 
above and a stylized owl below. 
When we enter the student center 
we are in the home of Sammy's (a 
cafeteria), the Campus Store, the 
Rice radio station KTRU, and Willie's 
Pub, the last being a favorite meet- 
ing spot for students and faculty. 
Alumni and student offices are also 
located here. On the original campus 
plan, this building was to be placed 
just east of the present location of 
Lovett College. Several other sites 
were proposed for it before it found 
a permanent home in 195H. Harvin 
Moore was the architect for both 
the Rice Chapel and the Rice 
Memorial Center. 


Here is the campanile of the Memorial 
Center, and it is indeed a bell tower 
this time, albeit an electronic bell. 


From this point near the Memorial 
Center one can look through the 
cloister of the Rice Chapel, through 
Anderson Biological Laboratories 
and Keith -Wiess Geological Labora- 
tories, all the way to the Space 
Science and Technology Building. 


These owl capitals near the chapel 
are almost identical to those on the 
south and north ends of the Lovett 
Hall cloisters. 


The court between the grand ball- 
room of the Memorial Center and 
the chapel is a peaceful place to sit 
and have lunch, except when the 
Shepherd School of Music has an 
ensemble of some kind playing 
there. Their occasional programs, 
though, are a great addition. Many 
students and alumni are married in 
the chapel, a gift of Mr and Mrs. J. 
Newton Rayzor The Robert H. Ray 
court is often used for receptions 
and other ceremonies. Naturally, 
the pigeons have found this quiet 
spot and often raise families over 
the chapel entrance. Around the 
court are blue ceramic owls and the 
initials R I These circular ceramics 
also appear on the exterior of the 
circular apse of the chapel, as we 
shall see. 


The "della Robbia" owl and " 
are much more visible in this 

(See Color Plate 9.) Here is the 
interior of the apse, with its brilHant 
gold mosaics. 

(See Color Plate 10.) These are 
some of the stained-glass windows 
that admit rich colored light into 
the interior. 


The university seal appears again 
on each end of the wood pews. 


Adjacent to the chapel is a small 
meditation chapel. The ornaments 
on the altar are the work of Ruth 
Laird. It is well worth asking for 
the key to see this miniature gem 
of a space. 


The Ley Student Center is an addi- 
tion to the west end of the "old" 
Memorial Center. It was built in 1986 
in honor of Audrey and Wendell 
Ley, and was designed by Cesar 
Pelli and Associates. It features 
exterior walls of blue glazed brick 
with horizontal bands of red St. Joe 
brick. The massive columns are 
actually structural steel columns 
clad half in limestone and buff 
brick and half in plaster painted 
dark green. A lone ceramic owl 
appears on the west end of the 
porte-cochere. The interior includes 
attractive lounges and study areas 
for students, an impressive octagonal 
meeting or dining room, and the 
"Brown Garden," honoring George 
R Brown, '20, with the inscription 
from Ovid, Acceptissima semper 
miinera sunt, auctor quae pretiosa 
facit. Translated freely: "Most wel- 
come always are gifts which are 
made precious by the giver" 

Within the garden is a handsome 
bust of Mr. Brown with the quotation 
To build the nation we must first 
educate the people. This area was 
funded by the J. S. Abercrombie 

Alice Pratt Brown Hall 


Somewhat remote from the other 
academic and residential buildings 
of the main campus is the Shepherd 
School of Music, located in the 
Alice Pratt Brown Hall. At the time 
this book is being prepared, the 
building is under construction, 
with completion scheduled for the 
1990-91 academic year Only the 
photograph of a model was avail- 
able. The building will contain a 
concert hall seating slightly more 
than 1000 and a 250-seat recital 
hall, which explains its location 
near a large existing parking area. 
An organ /choral hall with a very 
high ceiling is also included. Of 
course, rehearsal rooms and smaller 
ensemble rooms were provided by 
architect Ricardo Bofill (Taller de 
Arquitectura), who will incorporate 
the St. Joe brick evident in many 
other Rice buildings. A major por- 
tion of the construction funds was 
made possible through the Brown 

nimniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiifiiiiiiii gi 

Herring Hail 

An unusual number of colors were 
introduced into Herring Hall, a 
three-story structure housing the 
Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of 
Business Administration. This 
building was the gift of Robert A. 
Herring in 1984, and it contains 
several details later used in the Le)' 
Student Center. Without using deep 
carving, which produced deep 
shadows, or the colored marbles 
that were available for the early 
Rice Institute buildings, a very 
colorful building was created 
nevertheless by the use of limestone, 
redbrick, buff brick, ceramic tiles, 
green glass, and dark green columns. 
An interesting feature is the wide 
interior hall on the first floor, sepa- 
rated by a partition of columns and 
glass from an equally wide exterior 
walk. Another distinctive feature is 
the herringbone pattern in brick on 
all the east and west exterior walls. 
This pattern is almost never used 
on the north and south exterior 
walls. And this pattern in buff brick 
and limestone led to the student 
nickname the "Herringbone Build- 

ing." The viewer will recognize the 
large columns, which are clad in 
curved limestone and buff brick, 
ceramic tiles, and sleeves of metal 
painted dark green. Again, the actual 
structural column is steel. The 
architect for this building was 
Cesar Pelli and Associates. To the 
best of my knowledge, this is the 

only building on campus that bears 
the architects' names. The same 
firm also prepared a new master 
plan for the university. 


The Business Information Center 
(BIC) located in Herring Hall was 
the gift of Maconda and Ralph 
O'Conner. This more than two- 
story library has a balcony around 
the entire perimeter of the space. 
The lower floor can be rearranged 
into a large conference room as 
the study tables and lamps are 
easily removed. A reminder of the 
masonry herringbone patterns of 
the exterior east and west walls is 
found in the wall-to-wall carpet, 
and two-story columns in dark 
green are a natural interior use of 
the heavier masonry and metal- 
clad exterior columns. Despite the 
use of the cool colors of the col- 
umns and ceiling, this is a very 
rich, warm space. Do take time 
to visit this library, and then 
wander out into the north court 
to enjoy that side of Herring Hall, 
which is extensively obscured by 
oak trees. 


Your guide assumes you followed 
his instructions to visit the open 
court on the north side of Herring 
Hall and are now viewing the east 
end of the building. The herring- 
bone pattern in the masonry is used 
here in a variety of ways. First it is 
used on flat surfaces, as on the west 
end. But it is also used on short 
north and south walls, and even on 
a curved surface. This requires that 
the pattern turn corners, without 
interrupting the distinctive design. 
Careful inspection of the left side 
of the photograph will reveal the 
triangular glass feature over the 
main south entrance. It is worth a 
short stroll down the east side to 
get a closer look. 

Fondren Library 


From Herring Hall, we move to 
Fondren Library, walking through 
the cloisters and out in front of the 
building. You will see two large 
marble owls, which appear some- 
what pompous, if not overweight. 
These owls, as well as the five lime- 
stone panels on the front of the 
building, are the work of sculptor 
Herring Coe. 


Fondren Library was completed in 
1949 under architects Staub, Rather 
and Howze. Its location was the 
first real deviation from the original 
master plan, and that change forever 
defined the academic court as a much 
smaller space than on the original 
plan. Any future academic expansion 
will undoubtedly create secondary 
or tertiary academic courts. 

The history of the development 
of writing is depicted in stone above 
the main entrance. There is a total 
of five carvings, and the first shows 
the earliest form of recording 
information — pictographic writing — 
with symbols of the civilizations 
who used this form of writing. 

Apparently even Noah used it, for 
closer examination of the lower 
right corner shows the ark. 

;.:^ ,;M 

^ \ 

■^^ =* 




On the next panel, cuneiform sym- 
bols are shown; these had their ori- 
gin in Persia and Assyria. Some of 
the early tablets were found in 
Chaldea. The tablets, made of some 
of the earliest used metals — gold, 
silver, copper, lead, and tin — con- 
tained the story of the construction 
of the palace in cuneiform. Syrian 
and Persian figures are shown, but 

one of the most interesting forms is 
the hard-to-recognize Chaldean 
ramped temple in the upper left- 
hand corner 


Next we have some of the hiero- 
glyphics of Egypt, with the Sphinx 
and the pyramid in the upper left- 
hand corner, and with the first 
paper, a piece of papyrus. >X'e also 
see a part of the Greek alphabet, 
from which the Roman was derived, 
and Romulus and Remus being nursed 
bv the wolf, and the Ionic column 

and the cross symbolizing the 
beginning of Christianity. 


For some reason, hardly chronolog- 
ical, the next panel represents the 
industrial age and the mass produc- 
tion of books, including best sellers 
and paperbacks, no doubt. Some of 
the related symbols include the 
sphere of the world and the gears 
t)f the printing machines. 


just around the corner and appar- 
ently out of sequence is a panel that 
represents the era when books 
were copied by hand by monks in 
monasteries; the cross and the cru- 
sades represent Christianity and the 
knights with their maces in battle 

Rayzor Hall 

Rayzor Hall is hardly a storehouse 
of architectural delight, but take 
note of the two shields over the 
south and north entrances. The 
first is the usual Rice shield; and 
the second, which is also in stone, 
is a shield representing various 
areas of the arts. A shield that is 
almost identical to the latter may be 
found on Hanszen College and will 
be shown later. The one on Hanszen 
differs in that it is a ceramic shield 
and has the word Arts under it. 
Staub, Rather and Howze were the 
architects for this building in 1962 

Cohen House 


Our next stop is the Robert and 
Agnes Cohen House, the Faculty 
Club. Arriving at the structure, 
we stop to see the sundial, another 
gift of Mr. and Mrs. George Cohen. 
Cohen House was the first of sev- 
eral gifts to the university from the 
Cohens, this one being in honor of 
his parents. Mr. Cohen financed the 
building through a loan from the 
Rice Institute, which was a very 
nice arrangement for the Institute. 
He was subjected to much good- 
natured teasing over the years 
about obeying the one command- 
ment (the fifth) that offered any 
reward This building was con- 
structed in 192", and >X'illiam 
Ward Watkin was the architect. 


This photograph was taken of tht 
paved terrace and cloister on the 
south side of the huiiding before 
it was obscured by planting and 
before a later enlargement of the 
dining room. A small tiled fountain 
in the center of the terrace was 
enclosed by brick and stone piers, 
with wrought-iron fencing between 
some of the piers. With the excep- 
tion of the fountain, this terrace 
was left in place when the size of 
the club was increased. One of the 
faculty picked up a piece of the tile 
when the fountain was being demol- 
ished, and that tile found its way 
into my hands, and eventually into 
the archives. The fountain, complete 
with water bubbling out of a pipe, 
created real problems for faculty 
mothers at the annual Easter egg hunt , 
as the little ones were naturally 
attracted to it and almost all tried 
to climb in at one time or another. 


Here is another early view of the 
cloister where the heads of a num- 
ber of the earlier faculty were cut 
in stone. The head of Asa Chandler 
of biology is on the column nearest 
the camera. 


On the west side of the building is 
this very interesting entry to the 
club. The columns are reminiscent 
of some at St. Abbondio. a church 
in Como, Italy. Carved into the 
limestone lintel over this doorway 
is the Cohen family shield. It can 
also be seen on some of the chairs 
in the lounge. 


Here, on the north side, is an 
ornamental balcony with Italian 
Romanesque detail and a Rice 
shield in stone over the opening. 
Three more Rice owls! 


Now we may enter the club through 
the original main entrance. While 
some, especially visitors, now come 
to the club by way of the new covered 
canopy at the east side of the new 
dining room, people arriving on 
foot from various parts of the cam- 
pus are well rewarded for their walk. 


Inside the club, passing through 
the lounge with its richly decorated 
ceiling, we come to the original 
stone cloister seen earlier. There we 
should note sculptures of the heads 
of Esther and George Cohen. Sculp- 
tured likenesses of the heads of his 
parents are also located here. These 
were added at about the time the 
new dining room was added in 
1958 by Lloyd and Jones, Architects. 
Even I had a minor part in the con- 
struction of the club, for 1 made 
some changes in the second floor 
years ago, before the new dining 
room was added. In my experience, 
Mr. Cohen was a good client. 


I cannot include photographs of all 
the heads of the faculty located in 
the club, such as Dr. Max Frcund, 
formerly of the German department, 
who 1 think holds the Rice record 
for longevity — just over 100 years. 
The pair of Joe H. Pound of engineer- 
ing and Herbert K. Humphrey of 
electrical engineering have also been 
omitted, but here is Harold A. 
Wilson of physics. 


Since the name of each facuhv 
member is on a small metal plate 
just below the head shown, it is 
easy for the tourist to identify 
them. Dr Harry B. \Xeiser of 
chemistry is not shown here, but 
the head of William Ward Watkin 
is an excellent likeness 


I must include the head of Dr 
Radoslav A. Tsanoff of philosophy. 
The board of trustees appointed 
him Distinguished Professor of 
Philosophy after he was supposed 
to retire to allow students to con- 
tinue to take his courses. The board 
made a total of five such appoint- 
ments. Dr Tsanoff's daughter 
Katherine Brown was on the 
faculty in fine arts and dean of 
undergraduate affairs. She retired at 
the end of the 1988-89 academic 
year Unfortunately, because of limit- 
ed space 1 cannot show a photograph 
of the head of Dr Marcel Moraud 
of the French department, but you 
will see it on one of the capitals. 


Of international stature was Stock- 
ton Axson of the English depart- 
ment. Since Robert G. Caldwell of 
history was shown on the Chem- 
istry Building, his photo is not 
included here. Others whom I am 
listing but not showing are the 
pair of Leon B. Ryon and H. Willis 
Slaughter, of civil engineering and 
sociology, respectively, and Griffith 
Evans of mathematics. 


It would never do to omit the pair 
of heads of John T. McCants and 
Samuel Glenn McCann, for they 
were a part of the lives of students 
almost from the beginning. Mr. 
McCann was the director of admis- 
sions (Admissions Committee, in 
fact) and registrar, and Mr. McCants 
was the bursar and on the faculty in 
English. He had originally come to 
Rice as Dr. Lovett's secretary in 
1910. The two were often referred 
to as the positive and negative of 
the Rice institute. Mr. McCann let 
you in and Mr McCants often let 
you out, if you were in arrears with 
vour bills. 


When the new dining room was 
added to the Faculty Club, along 
with the enlarging of the kitchen 
facilities, the fountain that George 
Cohen had brought from Europe 
was incorporated into the design 
and was made a part of the walled 
garden. Without Mr Cohen's know- 
ledge, the Spanish moss that hung 
in profusion from the live oaks 
within the garden was removed. 
Mr Cohen was both disappointed 
and disturbed by this and had more 
moss purchased and hung from the 
trees. Unfortunately, much of the 
new moss died. In connection with 
the addition, the financial arrange- 
ments were handled in the same 
way as for the original building, 
i.e., by obtaining a loan from Rice 

University and protecting that loan 
with a life insurance policy. 

In the new dining room were 
two blank walls, on the east and 
west ends. Bill McVey was com- 
missioned to use these walls for 
permanently recognizing more 
recent members of the faculty, a 
total of eighteen. These are done in 
terra cotta, and the name of each 
faculty member is again directly 
under his portrait. I think 1 should 
point out that Bill McVey was a 
former student in architecture, 
a former member of the faculty 
of that department, and most 
recently director of the Museum 
of Fine Arts in Cleveland, from 
which position he has retired. At 
the 1983 commencement he was 
honored as an outstanding alum- 
nus. From left to right on the east 
wall are the portraits of Dr. Joseph 
1. Davies, formerly of biology; Dr 
Carroll Camden, Professor Emeritus 
of English; and Dr. Claude Heaps, 
the man from whom all freshmen 
took Physics 100 over many years. 


And then comes Dean Emeritus 
and Professor Emeritus of Chemis- 
try G. Holmes Richter. who until 
shortly before his recent death, 
maintained an office in the Chem- 
istry Building where he could be 
found daily. 


Then we have the second president 
of the Institute, Dr. William V. 
Houston, who was also a physicist. 






1 , — 




Next is Dr. Carey Croneis who 
was provost and acting president of 
the university, as well as professor 
of geology. 



Here is Dr. Thomas W. Bonner, for 
whom the Bonner Physical Labora- 
tory was named. Dr Floyd lUrich, 
formerly professor of mathematics, 
is not shown, despite the fact that 
he was one of the most skilled bil- 
liard players on the faculty. 


I do show Dr. Alan D. McKillop, 
who was one of the recipients of 
the Distinguished Professorships, 
his in English. 


And beginning with the faculty 
portraits on the west wall is that of 
James "Jimmy" Chillman, Jr, who 
began teaching at Rice in 19 H and 
was ultimately appointed a Distin- 
guished Professor of Fine Arts. He 
was also founder and former direc- 
tor of the Museum of Fine Arts in 
Houston and taught until he was 
eighty years old. Next comes 
Professor Emeritus of French, Dr 
Andre Bourgeois (not shown here), 
and Dr. A.J. Hartsook, Professor 
Emeritus of Chemical Engineering 
(also not shown). 



Another former Distinguished 
Professor was Dr Hubert E. Bray, 
mathematician, humorist, and the 
other of the two most skilled bil- 
hard players. Dr Bray received his 
Ph.D. from Rice in 1918 and taught 
until 1970. 


Finally, we come to the first pres- 
ident, Edgar Odell Lovett, who wa: 
Mr. Rice Institute for many years. 
Later we see the residential college 
that was named for him. 


This is Floyd S. Lear, Distinguished 
Professor of History. Recently two 
distinguished professors were 
appointed by the Board of Trustees: 
Dr William E. Gordon in engineer- 
ing and Dr Norman S. Hackerman 
in chemistry. These two did not 
actually teach after their appoint- 
ments, nor have they been immor- 
talized in stone or clay, as the 
earlier appointees were. 

Dr Edgar Altenburg of biology, 
James S. Waters of electrical engineer- 
ing, and Gilbert L. Hermance of 
physical education complete those 
on the west wall who are not shown. 
If yt)u do some real searching around 
the exterior of Cohen House, vou 

may locate a pair of heads cut in 
stone. These are Anderson Todd 
and William Cannady, the archi- 
tects in 19"6 for alterations that 
eliminated the billiards room and 
changed the library into a bar 
known as "George's Tavern." 

Allen Center 


A three-story structure as originally 
built in 1963, it was increased to 
four in igS'' with the addition of a 
floor completely encircled by a 
stone colonnade. Many administra- 
tive offices are here, including the 
Registrar's Office, the Cashier's 
Office, the Comptroller, the Devel- 
opment Office, Finance and Admin- 
istration, Personnel, and University 
Relations. Herbert and Helen Allen 
were the donors, and Lloyd, Jones 
and Philpott were the architects. 


On our way to Baker College, we 
stop by the north lobby of Allen 
Center, where a large, handsome 
stone owl is keeping watch over 
the business of the university Thi 
is the work of Annie Courv. 

Residential Colleges 

When the residential college sys- 
tem was introduced in 195^, a 
major series of additions was made 
to East Hall (Baker College), South 
Hall (Will Rice College), West Hall 
(Hanszen College) and Wiess Hall. 
The last was built in 1950, and 
Staub, Rather and Howze were the 
architects. When it was laid out, an 
error of two or three degrees was 
made so that it is not parallel to the 
other buildings on campus. Addi- 
tional living spaces were added to 
all of the new colleges except Wiess. 
New dining halls were added to all 
the colleges except for Baker, which 
already had one; and a master's 
residence was added to all four 


\X'e begin our tour of the colleges at 
the east end of Baker College, built 
in 1914 and originally called East 
Hall. This is an unusual elevation, 
in that the columns are marble and 
there is both limestone and consid- 
erable brick. The areas of the wall 
that are stucco barely redeem the 
original philosophy regarding use 
of materials on residential buildings. 

( See Color Plate 11.) On the newer 
wing of Baker College, we have four 
stone owls roosting on four stone 
pilasters. The colorful mosaics were 
designed by James Chillman and 
were made in Mexico. These mosa- 
ics are located in many other areas 
of Baker, and also on Will Rice and 
Hanszen colleges. All the additions 
to the new colleges were the work 
of Wilson, Morris, Crain and Ander- 
son, Architects. 



This is the south cloister of Baker 
College, showing ten columns with 
very unusual capitals, with surpris- 
ing quotations for a nonsectarian 
school. They come from the book 
of Proverbs in the Bible, and from 
the Wisdom of Solomon in the 
book of the Apocrypha, which is 
not included in most denomina- 
tions' Bibles. The series begins on 
the first column on the left, closest 

to the commons, and had to be 
carved in sequence, as in some 
cases the quotations are too long 
to appear on just one capital. It 
was rather a neat trick to make the 
proverbs fit exactly on ten columns, 
especially since one side of columns 
4 and ■' could not be used. The quota- 
tions begin on the west face and 
continue on the south, east, and 
north faces in order. Only the carv- 
ing on the first column is shown. 

On column I (from Wisdom of 
Solomon, Chapter "', Verse ^): 








On column 2 (>X'isdom of Solo- 
mon, Chapter ~. \'erscs 2S and 26): 


On column 3 (Verse 2""): 


The quotations on columns 4 through 
8 are sometimes used in Episcopal 
churches and perhaps others as the 
Old Testament reading for the 
eleventh Sunday after Pentecost. 

On column 4 (Book of Proverbs, 
Chapter 9, Verse 1): 


A D 191-1 [where the downspout 
interfered | 


On column 5 (Proverbs. Chapter 
9, \'erse 2): 


On column 6 (Verse 3): 


On column ~ (Verse -i): 




AD I9i4 I another do\\ nspout I 


On column 8 (Verses S and 6): 


On column 9 (Proverbs, Chapter 8, 
Verse 34): 


On column 10 (Proverbs, Chapter 
8, Verse 35): 



We continue our tour with a view 
of the original "Faculty Tower," 
with its now inoperative clock. In 
earlier days unmarried members of 
the faculty often lived here. The 
large clock did operate then. The 
cloister at the right connects Baker 

College dining liall to the wing of 
Will Rice College that was known 
as South Hall; that was the first 
actual residential dormitory on 
campus. Note the single marble 
column magically located where 
a larger arch would not fit. There 
are now a total of eight colleges, 
whereas originally (in 195'') there 
were five, which included Jones, 
the first women's college. 


Here is the exterior of the capital 
of the lonesome column, and another 
senior The inside of this column 
also shows the head of a student, 
but one who must not be graduating. 
(See Color Plate 12.) In the library 
of Baker College are several of the 
original lighting fixtures in stained 
glass, giving the designer another 
chance to use the Rice shield. 


This early photograph shows Mr. 
Watkin supervising the laying of 
the cornerstone for South Hall. 
Note the campanile with the 1912 
top in the background. You might 
also notice that the cornerstone 
does not appear to have been 
completed, as the date has not yet 
been carved on it: MDCCCCXli As 
was his custom. Dr. Lovett wrote 
the inscription, which reads: TO 



The very handsome south cloister 
of old Will Rice College makes 
one feel he is in Italy. This cloister 
forms the north side of a quadran- 
gle enclosed on three sides by Will 
Rice College buildings. 


Here is one of the floral capitals on 
that cloister. 


Here begins a series of terra-cotta 
panels on Will Rice College dining 
hall and on the Hanszcn College 
dining hall. These depict various 
aspects of student life in the 1920s. 
Bill McVey, a freshman in 1923 who 
received his degree in architecture 
in 192"', designed and made them 
with the help of Mrs. McVey, who 
was a ceramist of international sta- 
ture, having exhibited extensively 
in the United States and many other 
countries. Three separate firings 
were required: one for the stone- 
ware, a second (at lower tempera- 
tures) for the color glazes, and a 
third when mosaics were used. The 

mosaics were imported from Flor- 
ence. Italy. The terra cottas were 
installed in 1957. but unfortunately 
Mr. McVey does not recall the exact 
significance of every one of the 
panels. I have not included photo- 
graphs of the first two on the left: 
a student nervously anticipating a 
date, and an engineer with a slide 
rule. (Today, the engineering stu- 
dent might not know how to use a 
slide rule!) This student is writing 
home, undoubtedly for money. 


Here is another student, studying 
catenary curves and towers and 
structures equations: probably a 
civil engineer 


The next panel is the freshman 
quarterback George Alexander 
"Granddaddy" Wood, who in 
1924 completed a sixty-yard pass 
to "Red" Moore. George Wood 
was elected to the Rice Hall of 
Fame in 1983- 


This is a freshman, \ery immature, 
from El Campo, wearing the 'dink' 
required of first-year students in 
those days. 





And an architectural student with 
T-square and triangle, no douht 
burning the midnight oil 


A student in Biology 100 dissects 
an unfortunate frog. Omitted is the 
next panel of a student studying 
the constellations, so you will have 
to come to the campus to see this 
very nice terra cotta with its gold 
ceramic constellations. 


A student rather sleepily resigns 
himself to missing his eight o'clock 
class, which happened (especially 
on Saturdays!) to many students in 
the days when the faculty were 
early risers and liked early classes. 
Not shown is the terra cotta of the 
young man who has a vision of the 
opposite sex, which shows what 
happens to good intentions to 
study. Book is closed! 


This particularly wonderful panel 
shows Jesse Madden of the class of 
192^ hoisting the freshman class 
president Bill McVey into the hid- 
den spaces of the Turnverein Club. 
He reportedly spent two days hid- 
ing in the ceiling until the night of 
the sophomore prom, which he 
crashed by lowering himself down. 
Not shown is a baffled engineer, 
unable to solve the math problems 
furnished bv Dr. Hubert Brav. 


Here is Jack Glenn, a dedicated 
cheerleader and former Rice 
Thresher editor, who later became 
prominent in radio news reporting. 
He is shown against a background 
of mosaic tile, which Bill McN'ey 
called "smalti" and used to repre- 
sent a crowd in the background. 
Omitted are the senior who dreams 
of the diploma so near and yet so 
far; another student — who shall be 
nameless — who hated water in any 
form but gets a much-needed bath, 
probably in Hermann Park; and 
hamburgers, known as 'hockey 
pucks, " being served to unhappy 
diners bv a student waiter. 


There are five ceramic shields on 
the newer portion of Hanszen Col- 
lege. This first one is obvious; but 
the use of color is very nice indeed, 
and you should really make an 
effort to see it. Bill McA'ey did this 
Rice shield. 


Another is the shield of Hanszen 
College, a very flamboyant design. 


And another is the shield representing 
the arts, which I referred to earlier 
as being identical to the stone carv- 
ing on Rayzor Hall. This one is 
much nicer! 


Still another is the shield represent- 
ing engineering. 


Finally, the one representing science 
is on the south wall of one of the 
residential wings of the college 
and is very nicely done. 


The terra-cotta panels on Hanszen 
College were done at the same time 
as those at Will Rice College, but a 
fire destroyed the original commons 
at Hanszen in the summer of 1975. 
No damage was done to the McVey 
terra cottas, but when the dining 
hall was rebuilt it was redesigned; 
and space for only sixteen ceramics 
was provided, instead of seventeen. 
The panel showing a sophomore 
paddling a freshman was omitted. 
It was broken at one time but was 
repaired by Dr Stephen Baker, who 
was then master of Hanszen College; 
it is now in the archives. The panels 
on Hanszen are now set in a very 

dark glazed tile, rather than in the 
regular St. Joe brick. 


The names of the graduating 
seniors are read, with those who 
are graduating "with distinction" 
or "with honors" in those days. 
It was only comparatively recently 
that the honors "cum laude," 
"magna cum laude," and "summa 
cum laude ' have been awarded. 
Attendance of the faculty at com- 
mencement was mandatory, but 
some of the faculty spouses were 
parked nearby, ready to leave the 
Houston summer heat as soon as 

the exercises were over. The first 
air conditioning on campus was 
installed when Fondren Library 
was built. In sequence, the panels 
not shown here are a rela)' runner, 
which has a lovely background of 
"smalti"; and a chemistry student 
with his laboratory apparatus. 


Much poker was played in those 
days, and this sometimes led to 
enforced withdrawal from the Insti- 
tute. Today the computer can become 
just as addictive as playing cards 
sometimes was then. Look carefully 
for the panel of the student writing 

a girl back home, with her picture 
pro\ iding the necessary inspiration, 
as w ell as the panel of the civil 
engineer surveying the campus for 
the millionth time and the panel of 
the baseball player "taking his cuts" 
with the crowd in the background. 


A student studies French, a foreign 
language being an Institute require- 
ment in those days. It hardly seemed 
necessary to include the next panel 
of "boy meets girl," this being typi- 
cal of campus life at every university. 


And here we have Bill McVey in 
Paris, with the Eiffel Tower in the 
background. In the lower right- 
hand corner is "To — E. J. O." Dr. 
Eugene Oberle felt that no architec- 
tural student's education was com- 
plete unless he traveled in Europe, 
and he personally arranged the 
finances that made it possible for 
McVcy to do so. In Mc\'ey's words. 
"Skoal, Gene. " It was about this 
time when the traveling fellowship 
was instituted in the Department of 
Architecture, with funds provided 
by the Archi Arts Ball. 

The next three panels are not 
shown here. The first is a student 

trying to decide on a major; the 
second shows a student with 
Sammy the owl; and the third 
appears to be a student who has 
a serious case of spring fever, 
or perhaps "thoughts lightly turn. 







From the days of winning teams, 
we see a football substitute await- 
ing his big chance. The next two 
panels are a student comfortably 
settled in a Hardoi chair, undoubt- 
edly making a long telephone call, 
and a biologist weary from chasing 
butterflies with his net. 


This is the cloister of the dormitory 
built in 1916 and known then as West 
Hall. Today it is part of Hanszen 
College. This cloister helps to form 
the Hanszen quadrangle. 


On the left of the cloister arches 
is a single arch that is more than 
reminiscent of some in Italy. The 
cornerstone is to the right of this 
arch and reads O VISION OF those 


•ff F 



On the north side of the old por- 
tion of Hanszen College are two 
unusual unsymmetrical entrances. 
Here is one of them. The small 
objects below the tall window are 
shells, cut into the stone. 


Here is the other entrance. Take a 
little time to study both of them. At 
first they appear the same, but they 
are really very different. If you turn 
around after you look at these, you 
will see Wiess College. On the north 
side of the Wiess commons are two 
types of shields in stone : Rice shields 
and Wiess College shields. 


Edgar Odell Lovett College was 
built in 1968. It was the second 
college in the form of a modest 
"high-rise," Brown College being 
the first. Brown was built in 1965, 
the architect being Alan Shepherd 
of Brown and Root. The architects 
for Lovett College were ^X'ilson, 
Morris, Crain and Anderson. In this 
photograph, the dormitory portion 
is on the right and the commons is 
on the left. 


The contemporary sculpture in the 
entry garden of the college was 
created by Jim Love and is really 
quite striking. The push bars on the 
commons doors are of wood and have 
little Rice shields carved on them. 


Passing through the Lovett College 
garden, we see a more-than-modest 
frame cage that is the home of 
"Sammy," the Rice mascot. And 
here he is, austere and sleepy, as 
he should be in daylight. In real life 
he is more majestic than even the 
finest of the car\ed ones. In the 
194()s owls both roosted and re- 
produced in the chemistry tower 
Although they are no longer there, 
the students always seem to have 
a live one on hand to be carried 
on high to basketball and football 
games and other student functions 


The real multistory dormitory is 
Sid Richardson College. It is the 
only college in which the master's 
residence is incorporated in the dor- 
mitory structure. It was designed by 
architects Neuhaus and Taylor and 
completed in 1971. 


In the court between Jones College 
and Brown College is the bronze 
statue called The Sisters, the work 
of the renowned Carl Milles. The 
water fountains follow a cycle from 
virtually obscuring the figures with 
spray to no spray on the figures at 
all, at which time the surrounding 
fountains are at their highest. 


IkK IS .1 jiart of Jones College, 
nanieh Jones North. The college 
was completed in 1957 with Lloyd, 
Morgan and Jones as architects. 
This college also has a quadrangle 
contained on three sides by the 
dormitory wings and the commons. 
It used to be a very nice space, but 
the landscaping has made it difficult 
to feel the enclosure of the buildings 
and equally hard to photograph them. 


This is the Jones College shield in 
mosaic near the entrance to the 
dining hall. 

Rice Stadium 


From the colleges, walk or look 
across the parking lot to the ^2.000- 
seat Rice Stadium. It was completed 
in 1950, nine months after the foot- 
ball team won the Cotton Bowl on 
January 1, 1950. This photograph 
shows the great hole in the ground 
created by Brown and Root, the 
contractors, who kept the associated 
architects, Milton McGinty and Lloyd, 
Morgan and Jones burning the 
night oil trying to keep the design 
and drawings ahead of construc- 
tion. Rice Stadium was one of the 
first stadiums, if not the first, where 

the spectators entered at midlevel. 
The date of this photograph is 
March 1950. During construction 
many Houstonians followed the 
progress of the work by visiting the 
site every Sunday in response to a 
sign on Rice Boulevard that in\ ited 
each and all to a fifty yard line con- 
struction observation seat. 

(See Color Plate 13.) This stadium 
is truly a handsome piece of archi- 
tecture. Here is a June 12.1950. 
photograph of the fift) yard line 
upper stands. Funds for the con- 
struction of the stadium were raised 
by selling "options" to buy tickets 
in certain locations for a period of 
twenty years, plus funds accum- 
ulated by the Athletic Department. 
The original charter of the Institute 
prohibited borrowing funds for the 
construction of buildings, undoubt- 
edly a wise limitation for a pri\ate 
university. As a result, the stadium 
was paid for upon completion. 


The forms for the lower fifty yard 
line seats were literally bent to form 
the curved seats on the four "corn- 
ers." This photo was also taken on 
June 12, 1950. 


On September 5, 1950, only a few 
seats remained to be installed. The 
team entrance is located at the right 
or south end of the stadium; and 
the pumphouse, which keeps the 
surface from flooding, is at the 
north end of the field. The official 
opening matched Rice against Santa 
Clara, and fortunately the use of 
this facility began on a winning 
note, as Rice won 2"* to ^. 

1 hope this tour also ends on a win- 
ning note. VChile you may feel that 
your visit has been complete, there 
are a minimum of two hundred 
other items worth seeing. 1 have 
been looking over the campus for 
more than forty years now, and I 
find new points of interest almost 
e\ery trip. Whether or not you 
return for more, 1 know that 1 shall! 
The possibilities of seeing are end- 
less and will make for more and 
more enjoyment for us all. 


And Expanded